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National Poinsettia Day is Dec. 12 and other facts about the most popular holiday plant

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We typically think of the North Pole when it comes to Christmas, but the most popular holiday plant originates with our neighbor to the south.

Poinsettias are native to Mexico and were introduced to the United States in 1825 by Joel Roberts Poinsett, who was the first U.S. ambassador to Mexico.

In fact, Poinsett’s death in 1851 is commemorated every Dec. 12 as National Poinsettia Day.

Some other facts:

  • The colored parts of poinsettias aren’t flowers but bracts (leaves).
  • Poinsettias have been called the lobster flower and flame leaf flower.
  • Poinsettias are not poisonous, to humans or pets.
    • An Ohio State study found that a 50-pound child who ate 500 bracts (leaves) might have a slight tummy ache.
  • Ninety percent of all poinsettias are exported from the United States.

Sources: www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/poinsettia

 

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